Cornish Culture & Tourism: A Fine Line Between Authenticity and Disneyfied Kernow – Ben Gilby, Royal Holloway, University of London
Drawing on research of a multiple methodology nature, including primary data collection undertaken at five locations around Cornwall in February 2017, this paper examines the contentious use of Cornish culture as part of the territory’s tourist industry. Interviews with key stakeholders in the Cornish tourism, cultural, political and academic communities were undertaken in an effort to highlight the present concerns about how Cornish culture is portrayed to visitors and suggest potential routes towards a more authentic and sensitively managed future.
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I will be presenting the above paper at the 2017 Gorsedh Kernow Conference in Launceston on 1st September and would value the opinions of the readers of this blog on the following questions:
1) In your opinion how well does the Cornish tourist industry use Cornish culture (inc language) in their campaigns/attractions? Why?
2) What do you believe ‘authentic Cornish culture’ would look like as a tourist attraction?
3) Do you believe that groups such as Visit Cornwall, National Trust and English Heritage could deliver authentic Cornish culture as part of their existing sites/plans? Why? Conversely, would only a Cornish Heritage/Cultural group be able to offer an authentic Cornish cultural tourist attraction? Why?
4) Some people have laid considerable criticism at the door of existing groups for what is perceived to be a ‘Disneyfication’ of Cornish culture and identity. How do you react to this?
5) Are there any other opinions or observations on this subject that you wish to make?
All replies will be anonymised if used in the final paper – but I would appreciate it if I could use the name of the town/village that you live in, simply in order to look for any patterns in data by area.